How Kuoni Travel implemented a fresh EVP

HR magazine speaks to Ivan Walter, CEO of GTA division of Kuoni Travel

Clarity and communication are key to successfully implementing an employee value proposition (EVP), according to Ivan Walter, CEO of GTA division of Kuoni Travel.

“We had to be very clear on what we wanted to achieve,” Walter told HR magazine, discussing the implementation of Kuoni’s new 'People Deal'. “People don’t expect things to change overnight. It’s a journey and we can make it happen if we keep talking about it.”

Kuoni’s ‘People Deal’, otherwise known as an EVP, is intended to help the organisation focus on initiatives that will deliver the most value to their employees and the business; improve employee engagement consistently to help the business grow, attract and keep talent; and communicate the behaviours required by managers and their people.

With assistance from HR consultancy Talentsmoothie, Kuoni set up a ‘pillar’ system, where each of the five values of the company was broken down into four promises; a total of 20 promises with a delivery date of 2020.

Talentsmoothie asked the top 75 senior managers what their staff think would make the divisions better places to work. It also interviewed the executive team to determine what employees needed to better help support the business strategy over the coming years.

Work groups regularly meet to focus on the pillars and determine what needs to be done to ensure the change is moving in the right direction.

Talentsmoothie founder Justine James said: “The goal was to create an EVP to focus on improving employee engagement via a consistent global approach, built on sound knowledge of what really makes a difference to people. The divisions also wanted to establish a set of standards and leadership behaviours to guide their managers to deliver this employee experience."

She added that working towards a strong EVP will also help Kuoni attract and retain talent in a competitive market, in the hope of eventually reducing cost per hire via "leveraging their brand's USP".

Walter said: “Interestingly, when we gathered all the information around the promises we found we’re already doing 70% of the things on the lists to a certain extent. Only 30% of them were new to us, so it was a way to confirm that we are ticking some boxes, but also made us realise we still have a long way to go.”

He added: “People build relationships and that needs discipline and nurturing. You don’t say ‘we’re married now, so that’s sorted’. That’s where it starts! These are things that need constant attention. I’m convinced [this focus on EVP] will improve our engagement as it’s a good engine for that."